19 - Mughal Mausolea


The Mughals of India: A dynasty whose founder Babur (1526-30) descended from the most illustrious Mongol conquerors, Ghenkis Khan and Timur, hence the name. They ruled most of India for three centuries before direct British rule was set in 1858. The period between Babur's reign and 1707, when five of his descendants, Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangazeb ruled is considered the age of the Great Mughals.

Chahar Bagh: (Persian, four gardens) Quadripartite garden enclosure with a cruciform plan.

Hazira or Rawda: (Arabic) terms used in the Mughal period to designate a tomb or a mausoleum. The originial meaning of the former is "enclosure", the latter "garden." This suggests the garden origin of tomb-gardens.

Hasht-Bihisht: (Persian, eight paradises) A late name to an old type of building that has a radially symmetrical plan with eight parts surrounding a central chamber which is almost always domed. In Islamic times, this plan was most suited to house a reception/audience hall, or a tomb. It was popularized by Timur and his descendants in both their palatial and religious monuments. Later developments emphasized the façades by adding turrets to the four corners, by raising the central part of the façade via a pishtak, and/or by doubling the side through chamfering the corners.

Pietra Dura: Semi-precious stone (lapis, onyx, jasper, topaz, and cornelian) inlays in marble following geometric or floral designs.

Chatri: (originally Persian for umbrella) A small, vaulted pavilion used in India mostly

The Tomb of Humayun in Delhi



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